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Child Care & Early Education

We Can Do Better:
NACCRRA’s Ranking of State Child Care Center Standards and Oversight

National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies
(www.naccrra.org). Mar 2007. "States fall far short of meeting basic requirements needed to protect the health and safety of children in child care, and to promote their school readiness. The report ranks every state and the Department of Defense (which has its own child care system) on 15 basic criteria related to their current child care center standards and oversight. The results underscore the need to improve the quality of child care across the nation." Introduction, 14 pages in PDF. Index to Report and State Profiles in HTML.

Leaving Children To Chance: NACCRRA's Ranking
of State Standards and Oversight of Small Family Child Care Homes

National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies, Jan 08. Child care provided in family home child care settings is one of the largest segments of the child care industry, with nearly two million U.S. children spending time in family home-based care each week. According to a new analysis of state regulations assuring the safety and quality of family home care, most states are dropping the ball on protecting the health and development of young children in home care settings.
Index to report and state scorecard.

State Early Childhood Policies
Helene Stebbins and Jane Knitzer. National Center for Children in Poverty (www.nncp.org). June 2007. "Access to state-funded prekindergarten is growing, but access to high-quality child care is still inadequate, and state child care licensing requirements are not promoting nurturing, high-quality care. Only eight states meet recommended child care licensing standards for toddlers, and only 14 states meet them for 4-year-old children. Many low-income young children are not enrolled in any of the major early childhood programs, and access to services for infants and toddlers is especially limited." Introduction in HTML. Report, 27 pages in PDF.

Low Wages Prevalent In Direct Care and Child Care Workforce
Kristin Smith and Reagan Baughman, Carsey Institute, Summer 2007. In 2005, 2.7 million Americans were employed in the direct care and child care workforce. The study finds that workers in two fast growing care giving occupations -- direct care workers (personal care assistants, home care aides, home health aides, and certified nursing assistants) and child care workers generally receive low pay and lack health insurance, and both occupations experience high levels of turnover. 89 percent of direct care workers, and 97 percent of child care workers, are women.
Summary sheet
, 2 pages in .pdf; Policy Brief, 12 pages in .pdf

The NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development (SECCYD):
Findings for Children up to Age 4 1/2 Years

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (www.nichd.nih.gov). Jan 06. "This 62-page booklet [for parents and the public] describes the findings from the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development (SECCYD). The NICHD started the SECCYD in 1991 to collect information about different non-maternal child care arrangements, about children and families who use these arrangements and those who do not, and child outcomes. This booklet explains the Study's findings for children from birth to age 4 1/2 years." Booklet in PDF.

Early Childhood Education for All: A Wise Investment
Legal Momentum’s Family Initiative (www.legalmomentum.org), 18.Apr.05. The report concludes that children who receive quality early education “arrive at school ready to learn and with better developed social skills, so they do better in school. They need fewer costly special education classes. They are more likely to graduate from high school and hold jobs. They are less likely to be on welfare. And they are significantly less likely to wind up in the courts and in jails – and costing taxpayers dearly.” According to the study, every dollar invested in quality early care and education saves taxpayers as much as $13 in future costs.Full report, 69 pages in PDF.

Losing Ground in Early Childhood Education:
Declining Workforce Qualifications in an Expanding Industry, 1979-2004

Stephen Herzenberg, Mark Price, and David Bradley, Economic Policy Institute, Sept.05. Since the early 1980s, there has been a large and unsettling dip in the qualifications of the center-based early childhood workforce nationwide, with 30 percent of teachers and administrators now having just a high school diploma or less. This report finds that declining qualifications have resulted, in part, from persistent low wages and benefits. Summary in HTML ; Full report, 36 pages in PDF .

12 Country Study Reveals Substantial Gaps
In U.S. Early Childhood Education and Care Policies

The Clearinghouse on International Developments in Child, Youth & Family Policies at Columbia University (www.childpolicyintl.org). 2001. “There is a growing trend among countries toward universal access to early childhood education and care services. Access is already universal in most countries for 3- 4- and 5- year olds. In several countries access to early childhood education and care is a legal right.” Issue brief in HTML

American Prospect Special Report: Life Chances
December 2007. The case for early investment in our kids. Links to individual articles appear below. Link to special report index.

All Our Children: An Introduction
Robert Kuttner.Social outlay for early childhood education is the best investment we can make in America's future.

Child-Care Pay, Child-Care Quality
Marcia K. Meyers. Decent early childhood education requires well-trained and compensated educators.

Continuing the Investment
Sara Mead. Improvement can't stop at kindergarten. Top-notch "early education" must extend to 3rd grade -- and beyond.

Pre-K Politics in the States
Kate Sheppard. Pennsylvania and Illinois have made early childhood education a priority. Can other states -- and Washington -- learn from their example?

Changing the Climate on Early Childhood
Lawrence Aber. The science of early childhood development is as persuasive as the science of global climate change. Today, both challenges urgently call for a transformative politics.

No Parent Left Behind
Tara McKelvey. Often, the most effective efforts to intervene in the lives of disadvantaged children start early -- or even before they are born.

From One Generation to the Next
Rucker C. Johnson. Poor health at birth is one key channel through which economic status is passed from parent to child. Smart policies can lift kids beyond the poverty of parents.

Nature, Nurture, and Destiny
David L. Kirp. The Bell Curve revisited: What science teaches us about heredity and environment.

"Kids First" Politics, Round Two
Mark Schmitt. Progressives now have a chance to push a political agenda favoring investment in children. What can the second wave of children's politics learn from the first?

A Movement Transformed
Susan Urahn and Sara Watson. States have boldly advanced the cause of preschool in the last few years. Now, let's use growing support for pre-K to mobilize a national investment in early childhood.

Caring for Infants and Toddlers
The Future of Children Report (www.futureofchildren.org). Spring/Summer 2001.“This journal issue considers the caregiving options and supports available in the United States and abroad to families with children under age three— including parental leave and child care. It assesses the strengths and limitations of the options available in the United States and recommends improvements to help families of all income levels give their babies the best start possible in life.” Full Report in HTML (PDF Downloads available from the index page)

Recommended articles from Caring for Infants and Toddlers (in HTML):

Caring for Our Youngest : Public Attitudes in the United States
By Kathleen Sylvester

Employer Supports for Parents with Young Children
By Dana E. Friedman

Federal and State Efforts to Improve Care for Infants and Toddlers
By Jane Knitzer

International Policies Toward Parental Leave and Child Care
By Jane Waldfogel

Reports From the Field: Family and Medical Leave:
Making Time for Family Is Everyone's Business

By Lauren J. Asher and Donna R. Lenhoff

Reports From the Field: The Military Child Care Connection
By M.-A. Lucas

Necessary Compromises: How Parents, Employers
and Children’s Advocates View Child Care Today

Public Agenda (www.publicagenda.org). 2000. “All parents make sacrifices for their children, and working parents often have to sacrifice simply to find someone to mind their children while they're working. In Public Agenda's latest study, Necessary Compromises, we examine the attitudes of parents with young children, employers and children's advocates on the issue of child care and what society should do about it.” Summary in HTML

Working Moms and Child Care
Heather Boushey and Joseph Wright, Center for Economic and Policy Research (www.cepr.net). May 2004. A report on working mother’s use and access to child care. Of all working mothers with children under six, 90 percent reported using some kind of child care. The study finds that while child care is a problem for all working mothers, lower income mothers face the greatest difficulties in securing adequate child care. Full report, 20 pages in PDF

Supporting Growth and Development of Babies in Child Care:
What Does the Research Say?

Anne Goldstein, Katie Hamm, and Rachel Schumacher. Center for Law and Social Policy (www.clasp.org). June 2007. "This brief outlines research to make the case that state policies can promote the quality and continuity of early childhood experiences and positively impact the healthy growth and development of babies and toddlers in child care." 5 pages in PDF.

Child Care Assistance Helps Families Work:
A Review of the Effects of Subsidy Receipt on Employment

Hannah Matthews.Center for Law and Social Policy (www.clasp.org).
Mar 2006. "Reliable and stable child care helps parents retain steady employment and reduces workplace absenteeism, but the high costs of care challenge many families, particularly low-income working parents. Child care assistance can help. This policy brief reviews relevant research and finds that low-income mothers who receive child care subsidies are more likely to be employed, to stay off welfare, and to have higher earnings. For that reason, increasing investments in child care assistance is necessary to help families move from welfare to work and to help low-income parents continue working." 7 pages in PDF.

Child Care Programs Help Parents Find and Keep Jobs:
Funding Shortfalls Leave Many Families Without Assistance

By Jennifer Mezey, Center for Law and Social Policy (www.clasp.org). Feb 2004. “Child care subsidies help low-income families work and leave welfare, but funding shortfalls are forcing states to enact restrictive policies that are hurting poor families and efforts to promote their employment and earnings.” Report in PDF

Child Care Assistance Policies 2001-2004:
Families Struggling to Move Forwards, States Going Backward

National Women’s Law Center (www.nwlc.org). Sept 2004. “Help with child care costs is critical if low-income families are to be able to work, remain self-sufficient, and stay off welfare. However, a comparison of state child care assistance policies in 2004 and 2001, based on data provided by state child care administrators, reveals that instead of finding more help, many families now face increased barriers.” 17 page in PDF

Who Attends Preschool and Why It Matters
Steven Barnett and Donald J. Yarosz, The National Institute for Early Education Research (www.nieer.org). Aug 2004. The report concludes that despite increased enrollment over the last three decades, preschool participation in the U.S. remains highly unequal, “with many children starting out behind before they begin kindergarten.” Furthermore, “The children least likely to attend preschool are those whose parents have the least education and least income, whose mothers do not work outside the home… The rising tide of preschool enrollment has not lifted all boats equally and the factors that predicted inequality in 1991 still predicted inequality in 2001.” Policy brief, 16 pages in PDF

Also from NIEER:
New Research Debunks Myths About Preschool:
Modest Income Families Have Least Access;
Education, Not Job Concerns, Motivates Parents.
Oct 2004 press release in HTML

Exceptional Returns: Economic, Fiscal, and Social Benefits
of Investment in Early Childhood Development

Robert G. Lynch, The Economic Policy Institute (www.epi.org). Oct 2004. “Providing all 20% of the nation’s three- and four-year-old children who live in poverty with a high-quality ECD program would have a substantial payoff for governments and taxpayers in the future. As those children grow up, costs for remedial and special education, criminal justice, and welfare benefits would decline. Once in the labor force, their incomes would be higher, along with the taxes they would pay back to society.” Executive Summary and Introduction in HTML or Full report in PDF

Enriching Children, Enriching the Nation:
Public Investment in High-Quality Prekindergarten

Robert G. Lynch. The Economic Policy Institute (www.epi.org). May 2007. "Research is increasingly demonstrating that the policy of investing in early child-hood development, particularly high-quality prekindergarten, provides a wide array of significant benefits to children, families, and society as a whole. Empirical research shows that all children, regardless of whether they are from poor, middle-, or upper-income families, benefit from prekindergarten programs. In addition, higher quality prekindergarten programs provide greater benefits than lower quality prekindergarten programs." Executive Summary and Introduction in HTML. State Fact Sheets Index in HTML.

child care research and advocacy

Annie E. Casey Foundation

Center for Economic Policy Research

Center for Law and Social Policy

Children's Defense Fund

Economic Policy Institute

Legal Momentum Family Initiative

National Center for Children in Poverty

National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies

National Institute of Child Health & Human Development

National Association for the Education of Young Children

National Institute for Early Education Research

National Women's Law Center

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